Bioinspired carrier-free peptide conjugated BF2-oxasmaragdyrin dye-based nano self-assemblies: a photostable NIR cancer theragnostic agent


Kandala Laxman, B. Pradeep K. Reddy, Sumit K. Mishra, Andrea Robinson, Abhijit De, Rohit Srivastava, Mangalampalli Ravikanth

Published NPG Asia Materials
Graphical abstract  

Photothermal therapy (PTT) has attracted great interest in cancer treatment, and the quest for potential organic photothermal agents is underway owing to the nonbiodegradable nature and chronic toxicity of existing inorganic nanomaterials. Organic material-based nanoformulations with good photothermal and fluorescence properties in the near-infrared (NIR-I) window are scarce. However, porphyrins are one category of biocompatible systems that are advantageous for photothermal therapy but are currently based in the visible region, causing limited depth of tissue penetration and leading to compromised photothermal and near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging applications. To overcome these limitations, we report the synthesis of L,L-diphenylalanine conjugated BF2-oxasmaragdyrin (FF-BSC) and the fabrication of monodispersed spherical self-assemblies (FF-BSC NPs) using a USP class 3 solvent-water mixture. The resulting product exhibited excellent photostability (NIR exposure), multicycle photothermal efficacy, and NIR fluorescence. In vitro studies revealed good biocompatibility, efficient cellular internalization, and photothermal efficacy. Preclinical studies of these nano-self-assemblies demonstrated nontoxicity, efficient whole-body NIRF imaging, fractional passive tumor homing, and excellent photothermal tumor ablation potential. The absorbance and fluorescence of FF-BSC NPs in NIR-I make them suitable for theragnostic applications over existing porphyrins/ inorganic nanomaterials for future clinical applications.


K. Laxman, B. P. K. Reddy, S. K. Mishra, A. Robinson, A. De, R. Srivastava, M. Ravikanth, “Bioinspired carrier-free peptide conjugated BF2-oxasmaragdyrin dye-based nano self-assemblies: a photostable NIR cancer theragnostic agent”, NPG Asia Materials, 2020, 12(1).



Biomedical materials, Nanoparticles

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